Favourite Saint?



Doesn't matter. Thanks though. Although its the trials and documents that fascinate me the most. Bishop cauchon is only an example, in which Princes of the Church, are not always right and are not always good intentioned. This is not meant to an indirect link here, but something to think about. So called holy men of the Church, can hide pharisees, we must not be lead blind by their show of piety but see of what they teach and act is according to Our Lords teachings... We cant afford to have a clergy that is divided. Unfortunately, those that are suppose to be leading the faithful are just causing scandal and confusing everyone. which just goes to show at what level, the Devil is causing many to be confused, causing them to perhaps shy away from what is happening or even to lose hope. But Catholics, it is our right to know what issues are affecting the Church and our priests, because we will eventually be impacted upon also. We cannot be ignorant/uninformed, to a degree, of the Church's "events". Or in this case, certain "factions" (?) of which the Sspx was a major traditional group and what it is doing now?... * please correct me if I am wrong, I am still learning. *


New Member
My favourite Saint is St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine. This is so because, like St. Monica, I have children who are currently not members of the Catholic Church, and I am praying for their salvation.



The Tearful Prayers of St. Monica
We ought not to be discouraged if our prayers are not immediately granted. For many long years St. Monica prayed for her son's conversion, yet despite her tears and supplications he only fell deeper into sin. One day she went to a bishop and told him her grief. The bishop bade her not be disheartened, since it was impossible that the child of so many tears and prayers should be lost. His words came true; Augustine was converted and became a great saint. For eighteen years his mother ceased not to pray for him.

Augustine's Voyage Was Not Prevented
God often does not grant our prayers because what we ask would be hurtful to us. St. Monica, the mother of the great St. Augustine, for many years prayed for her son's conversion without receiving an answer to her petition. Presently Augustine, who was professor of rhetoric in Carthage, informed her of his intention of going to Rome, in order to have a wider sphere of action. His mother, fearing that the great city would offer fresh dangers and temptations for her son, wept bitterly and endeavored to dissuade him from carrying out his project. She spent the whole of the next night in prayer, beseeching God to prevent him from embarking on the voyage; but, the next morning, to her grief, she heard that he had already set sail. Why, it may be asked, did almighty God not grant her prayer? Because Augustine's residence in Italy was to be for his spiritual profit; for in Milan he made the acquaintance of Bishop Ambrose, whose eloquent discourses had the effect of converting him. Later on Augustine himself said: "O Lord, Thou didst not at that time fulfill my mother's desire, in order to grant her that for which she had for so long a time besought Thee."

Prayer of Perseverance

Defend, we beseech Thee, O Lord, through the intercession of the ever glorious Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles, of St. Augustine and St. Monica, and of all the saints, this our society from all adversity, and graciously preserve it from the snares of the enemies: through our Lord, &c. Amen.

St. Monica, Widow
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877

St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine, the great teacher of sacred wisdom, was a native of Africa. She was doubly a mother to the Saint; for, she not only gave him earthly life, but also spiritual life, by regenerating him for Heaven. Her parents, who were Christians and in comfortable circumstances, brought her up in modesty and virtue. She was devoted to pious exercises from early childhood. Having heard from her mother how pleasing in the sight of God it is to overcome sleep at night, and spend the time in prayer, she forthwith began to rise during the night and pray. Nor was she less devoted to the poor. She often deprived herself of food in order to supply the wants of the indigent. She never evinced any pleasure in vainly adorning her person, but always attired herself according to her station in life. In all her words as well as actions, she endeavored to be decorous and retiring. When grown up, it was her desire to live in virginal purity, but was obedient to her parents who wished her to marry. As a wife her conduct was so exemplary that she might be held up as a model for all married people. Patricius, her husband, tormented his pious wife in a thousand different ways, as he was of a violent temper, immoral, and addicted to many vices. Monica always treated him with love and gentleness, never reproaching him for his vices. She never contradicted him when, giving way to passion, he burst out into manifold curses: but waited until his anger had passed away, and then represented his faults to him with Christian calmness. Praying to God unceasingly for his conversion, she gradually changed him so completely, that he at last led a very edifying life. The women who lived in her neighborhood, and who were acquainted with the passionate temper of Patricius, often wondered that he never struck or otherwise brutally treated her, as their husbands did to them. But Monica told them the reason of it, and taught them to be submissive to their husbands, to meet them with love and gentleness, and above all things, never to contradict them when they were angry, but to bear their faults in patience and silence. But just as anxious as Monica was to live in love and peace with her husband, so was she determined not to permit strife and contention among her household, still less other vices. She had three children, two sons and one daughter, and her greatest care was to give them a Christian education. Augustine, her first born, however, was not obedient, especially after the death of his father, but led a wild, licentious life, regarding neither the admonitions, supplications, nor menaces of his pious mother, until at last, he fell into the heresy of the Manichees.


Meanwhile Monica regulated her widowhood entirely after the precepts which St. Paul gives in his first Epistle to his disciple Timothy. She was liberal towards the poor, assisted daily at Holy Mass, listened eagerly to the word of God, spent no time in idle gossiping, or in walking about; but read devotional books, prayed and worked. She would hear nothing of worldly pleasures, and still less of fine garments or other vanities. She loved solitude and lived a retired and peaceful life, her only trouble being the vicious conduct of her son. Shedding many tears, she prayed almost day and night to God for his conversion, and requested others, both of the Clergy and the laity, to pray for the same object. As she one day asked a bishop for his prayers, he said to her: "Go in peace, a son for whom his mother sheds so many tears cannot perish." These words gave her some comfort, but she derived still more consolation from a vision in which God distinctly announced to her the conversion of her son.

In the meantime, Augustine was desirous to leave Carthage, where he had studied rhetoric, and go to Rome. Monica endeavored to prevent his going; but Augustine secretly departed while she was at church. Scarcely, however, had he arrived in Rome, when he became dangerously ill: and he ascribed it to his mother's prayers that he did not die in his sins and go to eternal destruction. As soon as Monica was informed where her son was, she determined to go to him so as to be able to watch over him. When she, after a most dangerous sea-voyage, arrived at Milan, she found him there, as he had been called from Rome to teach rhetoric. It was then that she perceived with joy that there was a change in him, through his conversations with St. Ambrose, who, at that period, was Bishop of Milan. Monica entreated the bishop not to relax in his interest for her son, until he should be entirely converted.

At length, God in his mercy complied with the holy widow's desire. Augustine renounced the Manichean heresy and was baptized in his 30th year by St. Ambrose. It may be said with truth that this conversion was the fruit of the prayers and tears of Saint Monica. The consolation that she received from her son's conversion, may be more easily imagined than described. Soon after this event, she determined to return with her son to Africa, but having reached Ostia, where they were obliged to wait for an opportunity to continue their voyage, a slight fever overtook her. At first it was not supposed dangerous, and Augustine himself relates how edifying a conversation he had held with his holy mother on the glories of heaven. She ended it with the following words: "My son, as far as I am concerned, I expect nothing further from this world. I had only one wish, which was to see you a Catholic before I died. God has granted me more than I asked; because I see that you not only serve Him, but that you despise all earthly happiness. What, therefore, remains for me to do upon earth?" Meanwhile, her malady increased so rapidly, that nine days later, St. Monica, who so long had sighed for heaven, gave her soul, adorned with so many virtues, into the hands of her Creator, in her fifty-sixth year. What she requested before her death of her two sons who were present, St. Augustine relates as follows: "Lay my body," said she: "where you like, and allow no thought of it to trouble you. Only one thing I request of you: remember me before the Altar of the Most High wherever you may be." St. Augustine describes also how they placed the body of his holy mother by her open grave, and there offered the sacrifice of our Redemption, the Holy Mass, for the dead before they interred her. A clear evidence that, at that remote period, they also believed in purgatory, and prayed for the dead as we Catholics still do in our days.


More Prayers
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St. Cecilia

From the Roman Breviary

Cecilia, a Roman maiden born of noble family, brought up from infancy in the teachings of the Christian faith, had vowed her virginity to God. Married against her will to Valerian, on her nuptial night she said to him, "Valerian, I am under the care of an angel who is guardian of my virginity. Do not do, therefore, anything that may arouse the anger of God against you." Valerian was disturbed by these words and did not dare touch her. He even declared that he would believe in Christ if he could see the angel. When Cecilia explained that this was impossible without baptism, he desired so ardently to see the angel that he offered to be baptized. Acting on Cecilia's advice he went to Pope Urban, who because of the persecution was at that time in hiding in the Catacomb of the Martyrs out on the Appian Way. There Urban baptized him.

When Vaerian returned to Cecilia he found her at prayer and beside her an angel shining in divine splendor. He was overcome at the sight. As soon as recovered from his awe-inspired fright, Valerian summonded his brother, Tiburtius. He, too, was instructed by Cecilia in the faith of Christ, and after baptism by Pope Urban, saw the same angel his brother had seen. Shortly afterward both brothers bravely suffered martyrdom at the hands of the prefect Almachius, who aslo ordered the arrest of Cecilia. Almachius questioned her first about the disposal of the property of Tiburtius and Valerian.

When Cecilia replied that all their wealth had been distributed to the poor, Almachius flew into a rage. He ordered her to be taken home to her own house to be put to death by the heat of the bath. For a day and a night she remained unharmed by its fiery breath. Then an executioner was ent for. Although he struck three blows with an axe, he was unable to sever her head, so he left her half dead. She lingered three days. Then on September 16, in the riegn of the emperor Alexander, crowned with the dual palm of virginity and martyrdom, she took her flight to heaven. The same pontiff Urban burried her body in the cemetery of Callistus. A church was set up in her house and dedicated under the name of cecilia. Her body and those of Popes Urban and Lucius, and of Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus were brought back into the City by Pope Paschall I., and were buried together in the church of St. Cecilia.
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Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

Among the most remarkable works is the graphic altar sculpture of St. Cecilia (1600) by the late-Renaissance sculptor Stefano Maderno. The pavement in front of the statue encloses a marble slab with Maderno's sworn statement that he has recorded the body as he saw it when the tomb was opened in 1599. The statue depicts the three axe strokes described in the 5th-century account of her martyrdom. It also is meant to underscore the incorruptibility of her cadaver (an attribute of some saints), which miraculously still had congealed blood after centuries. This statue could be conceived as proto-Baroque, since it depicts no idealized moment or person, but a theatric scene, a naturalistic representation of a dead or dying saint. It is striking, because it precedes by decades the similar high-Baroque sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (for example, his Beata Ludovica Albertoni) and Melchiorre Caffà (Santa Rosa de Lima).



Statue of St. Gudula in the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels (Belgium)

Statue of St. Gudula in the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels (Belgium)

St. Gudula

(Latin, Guodila)

Born in Brabant, Belgium, of Witger and Amalberga, in the seventh century; died at the beginning of the eighth century. After the birth of Gudula her mother Amalberga, who is herself venerated as a saint, embraced the religious life, and according to tradition received the veil at the hands of St. Aubert, Bishop of Cambrai (d. about 668). Gudula’s sister was St. Reinelda, and her brother, St. Emebertus, who succeeded St. Vindician as Bishop of Cambrai about 695. From an early age Gudula proved herself a worthy child of her mother, and with Reinelda and Emebertus lived in an atmosphere of piety and good works. She frequently visited the church of Moorzeele, situated at a distance of two miles from her parents’ house. She was buried at Ham (Eastern Flanders). About a century after her death, her relics were removed from Ham to the church of Saint-Sauveur at Moorzeele, where the body was interred behind the altar. Under Duke Charles of Lorraine (977-992), or more exactly, between 977 and 988, the body of the saint was taken from the church of Moorzeele and transferred to the chapel of Saint Géry at Brussels. Count Balderic of Louvain caused another translation to be made in 1047, when the relics of the saint were placed in the church of Saint-Michel. Great indulgences were granted on the feast of the saint in 1330, to all who assisted in the decoration and completion of the church of St. Gudula at Brussels. On 6 June, 1579, the collegiate church was pillaged and wrecked by the Gueux and heretics, and the relics of the saint disinterred and scattered. The feast of the saint is celebrated at Brussels on 8 January, and at Ghent-in which diocese Ham and Moorzeele are located-on 19 January.

St. Gudula

If St. Michael is the patron of Brussels, St. Gudula is its most venerated patroness. In iconography, St. Gudula is represented on a seal of the Church of St. Gudula of 1446 reproduced by Pere Ch. Cahier (Caracteristiques des saints, I, 198) holding in her right hand a candle, and in her left a lamp, which a demon endeavors to extinguish. This representation is doubtless in accord with the legend which relates that the saint frequently repaired to the church before cock-crow. The demon wishing to interrupt this pious exercise, extinguished the light which she carried, but the saint obtained from God that her lantern should be rekindled. The flower called “tremella deliquescens”, which bears fruit in the beginning of January, is known as “Sinte Goulds lampken” (St. Gudula’s lantern). The old woodcarvers who professed to represent the saints born in the states of the House of Austria, depict St. Gudula with a taper in her hand.